iBeacons <3 Cisco Meraki

What I have noticed is that when companies buys network devices like firewalls, switches and access points they won’t use all the features what is implemented inside those devices.

I don’t know if the problem is sales or technical peoples, but what I think that companies don’t know how to use their hardware and take all out what they are already bought.

Situation is like this. You buy new car and then you don’t use lights, because you don’t know how to use lights or nobody hasn’t told you that there is lights in your car.

Because of this, I decided to write this little program and give it out for PoC purposes, so companies which have Cisco Meraki APs with bluetooth can get some ideas what they can do it.

First of all, if you don’t know what iBeacon is go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBeacon and check it out. For the short, it is protocol developed by Apple and it’s based on bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology.

What is also great that if you don’t have Meraki APs, then you can use Linux hcitool or MAC mbeacon to test it. Do some googling (when I was “young” altavista was search engine back then) and check it out.

Now let’s stop talking and let’s go to the technical stuff.

Note: You need to have xcode installed in your MAC and you also know how to use it. You also need to have iPhone. I tested this code in IOS 14.0.1 and xcode 12.0.1 (12A7300).

First you need to enable iBeacons in your AP.

Go to Wireless > Configure and IoT radio settings.

Then go down to Beaconing and choose Advertising On.

Advertising > On.

Now you need to generate UUID for your BLE iBeacon advertising. This is the UUID what your APP try to find.

Click Generate new UUID.

After this you need to choose are you using unique Major and Minor for whole network or should all AP share same Major and Minor numbers. This depends in your use case.

Unique or Non-unique Major and Minor numbers.

If you have larger area and you want to get different impulse when Major or Minor changes then you can use Unique. If you only need one Major and Minor then you can choose Non-unique.

If you have multiple AP in your test bench, then you can set individual using API or using defaults.

Different Major and Minor numbers based on AP.

I suggest that you copy your UUID in file and upload it in your phone notes.

After this you need install My iBeacons app in your phone, you can download source code here: https://github.com/hrleinonen/iBeacon

After xcode has finished the installation, your phone will ask questions.

Chooce Allow While Using App.
Choose Allow.

After this click Configuration.

Choose Configuration.

Now you need to insert your UUID, Major and Minor number. Name field is not yet implemented.

Give UUID, Major and Minor numbers. After those click Save and Back.

Now you should see your distance to your AP.

iBeacon fully functional.

If you want use MAC and mbeacon application you should check this site https://github.com/watr/mbeacon

And if you want to use your RPI for iBeacon sender, then go here http://www.wadewegner.com/2014/05/create-an-ibeacon-transmitter-with-the-raspberry-pi/

Happy iBeaconing.



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